The growing stress on the local health care system in North West Syria required an intervention that would support people impacted with mild COVID-19 outside the standard setting of the hospital and isolation centers. The MedGlobal team and local public health authorities agreed on the design of a home health intervention for the city of Ariha and its neighboring countryside where vulnerable communities with difficulty in accessing health care lived. This intervention consisted of home health visits to COVID-19 patients residing in Ariha, Syria.
Each health visit had a doctor, a nurse, and a community volunteer as the intervention team. Patients’ health status was assessed and the intervention team provided follow-up visits either through home visits or through phone calls. This intervention was delivered to 304 COVID-19 Mild cases that were reported in the area by the Ministry of Health (MOH). A follow-up was done and monitored through mobile data collection in the KOBO tool. Documentation was made possible by the patient’s verbal consent who then agreed that their clinical status is collected in the course of implementation and used for programmatic purposes.
The analysis of the collected information was cleaned and analyzed at the end of the intervention to reveal several important findings that would guide MedGlobal and other partners for further scale-up and adoption of home health in other congregate settings, especially during the pandemic. The home health intervention was effective in assisting patients, as almost all of them (99%) showed a reduction in severity as the intervention progressed. Among these patients most reported comorbidities were high blood pressure 14% and obesity (14%) regardless of age and gender while based on age, elderly patients of age 60+ years (24%) were the most affected by COVID-19 disease. The common symptoms reported by these patients were headache, cough, breathing difficulty, loss of sense of taste and smell, also fever which is in concordance with the common symptoms of COVID-19. Not all these patients who were reached had a confirmed laboratory diagnosis (PCR or Antibody), others were placed in-home health care based on the symptomatic manifestation or contact history as assessed by the physician to reach more people at home to help decongest the health facility and isolation centers.